The first VW bus first introduced to the world at the Geneva Motor Show in 1949, and then it began production a year later. Branded as the ‘T2’ by VW, the kombi camper van was Volkswagen’s second vehicle after the Beetle. The first production of the VW Van was a mere 10 vehicles to roll off the manufacturing line per day. Over the next four decades VW would go on to sell over 5 million units and the basic design would remain unchanged over that time.
In 1967 as the summer of love and peace meandered, the beloved VW Van added new ‘Bay’ windows, replacing the ‘Splitty’ – and the camper was reborn as a more comfortable, more powerful and all-round better ‘group friendly’ ride.
The VW Van played a central role in a variety of cultural movements over the decades – wheeling hippies into Woodstock in the summer of 1969, carrying surfers and their boards up and down the California coasts – bringing a touch of style, convenience, and nostalgia to eager road-trippers across the globe. Its appeal is demonstrated by the fact it was in continuous production in one form or another for over sixty years. It became a cult of transportation and was featured in many movies as the hippie love machine. Finished inside with shag carpets and love beads, it was the youth-mobile of the 1960s, 70s, and 80s.
The new VW microbus will hit the roads in 2022, but as yet there are no plans to create a camper version. VW has said that the new VW Van will be designed for and targeted to customers in Europe, North America, and China. The big news for VW Camper vans is that VW has announced that they are planning on bringing back the ever-popular kombi van as an electric version following positive feedback to its other concept vehicle. This gives the next generation of hippie travelers time to purchase love beads and tie-dyed tee-shirts.